Raid in the Reich Citizens’ Scene: 25 arrests

DThe Federal Prosecutor’s Office had 25 people from the so-called Reich Citizens’ Scene arrested in a raid on Wednesday morning. Around 3,000 officials are deployed in eleven federal states, a spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe authority told the German Press Agency. She accuses the accused of having prepared the overthrow of the state and replacing it with their own form of government.

The Karlsruhe authority announced on Wednesday morning that the basics had already been worked out. “The members of the association are aware that this project can only be realized through the use of military means and violence against state representatives,” the statement said. “This also includes committing homicides.” The federal prosecutor’s office had 25 suspects arrested in the morning.

It is about a group of around fifty people from the so-called Reich citizens, militant lateral thinkers and esoterics. According to SWR information, they are said to have planned a coup and, from the investigators’ point of view, wanted to set up a new government led by a prince from the nobility, who is the leader of the group. The investigators are particularly concerned about several former soldiers of the “Special Forces Command” (KSK) with special training in close combat, who are among the accused. According to SWR research, the suspects include doctors and a judge, who used to be a member of the Bundestag for the AfD, in addition to the former soldiers and police officers.

As reported by the “Tagesschau”, among others, the group is said to have planned to abolish the constitutional order in Germany and found a state within the borders of the German Empire of 1871. A “shadow cabinet” is said to have already existed.

22 people were arrested, and there are also 27 other suspects, said the spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor. “We don’t have a name for this association yet,” she said. It’s probably based on conspiracy theories. According to the information, people were arrested in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Thuringia and one person each in Austria and Italy. There were also searches in Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The federal prosecutor’s office wanted to start questioning the first arrested on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann described the nationwide raid in the Reich Citizens’ Scene as an “anti-terrorist operation”. “Democracy is defensive: A major anti-terrorist operation has been taking place since this morning,” wrote the FDP politician on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “There is a suspicion that an armed attack on constitutional bodies was planned.”

Reich citizens are people who do not recognize the Federal Republic and its democratic structures. They often refuse to pay taxes. Often they are in conflict with authorities. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution ascribes around 21,000 followers to the scene. During a raid in 2016, a so-called Reich citizen shot four police officers in Georgensgmünd, Bavaria. One of them succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The special task force wanted to confiscate the hunter’s weapons.

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